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WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP ANNEXATION CASE (09/16/65)

decided: September 16, 1965.

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP ANNEXATION CASE


Appeals from orders of Court of Quarter Sessions of Crawford County, Nov. T., 1961, No. 118 and Sept. T., 1962, No. 111, in the matter of annexation of parts of West Mead Township.

COUNSEL

F. Joseph Thomas, with him R. Charles Thomas, for township, appellant.

John V. Pepicelli, City Solicitor, for appellees.

J. Perry Eckels, and Eckels, Stegner & Blystone, for amicus curiae.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Flood, Jacobs, and Hoffman, JJ. Opinion by Ervin, P. J.

Author: Ervin

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 168]

We have for consideration two appeals from the orders of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Crawford County approving the annexation of two tracts of land from West Mead Township to the City of Meadville. These two cases involve Annexation Areas 2 and 3 of four separate petitions for annexation. The approval of Annexation Area No. 1 was appealed to the Supreme Court and affirmed by it in West Mead Township Appeal, 411 Pa. 94, 191 A.2d 273. The present appeals were also originally filed in the Supreme Court but, in the meantime, the legislature had amended the Superior Court Act of June 24, 1895, P. L. 212, by the Act of August 14, 1963, P. L. 819, 17 PS §§ 181, 182, so that it now reads: "The Superior Court . . . shall have exclusive and final appellate jurisdiction of all appeals by or in the nature of appeal, certiorari or writ of error in the following classes of cases:

"All proceedings of any kind in the court of quarter sessions of the peace, oyer and terminer and general jail delivery, or before any judge thereof, except cases involving the right to a public office, and in case of felonious homicide. . . ." Accordingly the Supreme Court remanded these cases to this Court: West Mead Township Appeal, 416 Pa. 73, 204 A.2d 247.

Annexation Area No. 4 has not reached the appellate stage.

The legislature has set up two ways by which a third class city can annex portions of an adjoining second class township. One method is established by § 501 of The Third Class City Code of June 23, 1931, P. L. 932, as amended, 53 PS § 35501 et seq. A different

[ 206 Pa. Super. Page 169]

    method was established by the Act of July 20, 1953, P. L. 550, the title to which reads: "Providing for and regulating the annexation of parts of a second class township to boroughs, cities and townships." Both sides have incorrectly referred to the latter act as The Second Class Township Code. Attention is called to footnote No. 6 in West Conshohocken Borough Appeal, 405 Pa. 150, 154, 173 A.2d 461, where the Supreme Court pointed out: "Continuous, though erroneous, reference is made in the Borough's brief to the 1953 Act as part of The Second Class Township Code. The Act known as 'the Second Class Township Code' is the Act of May 1, 1933, P. L. 103, as amended, 53 PS § 65101, whereas the 1953 Act is 'An Act providing for and regulating the annexation of parts of a second class township to boroughs, cities and townships' and is not part of The Second Class Township Code." The Act of 1953 did not specifically repeal any former acts but it did provide in § 9 "All acts and parts of acts are hereby repealed in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this act."

On two occasions the question of whether or not the Act of 1953 is exclusive has been presented to the Supreme Court but it has not found it necessary to decide the question. In a footnote to Palmer Township Annexation Case, 416 Pa. 163, 168, 204 A.2d 760, it is pointed out that "Whether the Act of 1953 repealed by implication other statutory provisions regarding annexation of territory in a second class township to a borough or city poses an unresolved question . . . which we have not yet had to determine, see West ...


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